Scientific Advisory Board
Industry experts in developing therapeutics that modulate protein homeostasis
F. Ulrich Hartl, M.D., D. Med
Professor, Director, Department of Cellular Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry
Dr. Hartl received his doctoral degree in Biochemistry from the University of Heidelberg. In 1985, he moved to the laboratory of Walter Neupert in Munich where he worked on the mechanism of protein transport into mitochondria, first as a post-doctoral fellow and then as a research group leader. In 1988, he initiated work that resulted in the demonstration of the basic role of molecular chaperones in protein folding. In 1990, he joined the faculty of Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York where he investigated the mechanisms of protein folding in the bacterial and eukaryotic cytosol. He reconstituted the pathway of chaperone-assisted folding in which the Hsp70 and the GroEL chaperone systems cooperate and discovered that GroEL and its co-factor GroES provide a nano-compartment for single protein molecules to fold unimpaired by aggregation. In 1993, Dr. Hartl was promoted to full professor with tenure, and in 1994 became an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1997, he returned to Munich to head the Department of Cellular Biochemistry at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) where he continues to study the basic mechanisms of protein folding in vivo as well as the role of the protein quality machinery in diseases of aberrant folding. Dr. Hartl has received several awards for his work on chaperone-assisted protein folding, including the Gairdner Award in 2004, the Wiley Prize in 2007 and the Rosenstiel Award and Horwitz Prize in 2008.
Daniel Finley, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. Finley’s research has focused on understanding how the proteasome recognizes its substrates, how it coordinates deubquitination with protein degradation, how it assembles, and how it unfolds and translocates the substrate in preparation for degradation. His research, in collaboration with Dr. King, has led to the discovery of a novel target, Usp14, which inhibits proteasome activity by decoupling ubiquitin tags from proteins, as well as small molecule inhibitors of Usp14 that increase turnover of neurotoxic or damaged proteins. Dr. Finley has been a Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School since 1988. He graduated from Harvard University in 1980 and received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984.
Jeffery W. Kelly, Ph.D.
Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry, Chairman, Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute
Jeffery W. Kelly received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and performed post-doctoral research at The Rockefeller University in the area of chemistry and biology. Dr. Kelly is the Lita Annenberg Hazen Professor of Chemistry and Chairman of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at The Scripps Research Institute. His research focuses on the chemistry and biology of protein folding, function and maintenance and he continues to develop novel therapeutic strategies for diseases associated with compromised proteostasis. He co-founded FoldRx Pharmaceuticals along with Dr. Susan Lindquist.
Randall W. King, Ph.D., M.D.
Associate Professor of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
Dr. King’s research, which integrates chemical and biological approaches to the study of cell division, has focused on ubiquitin-dependent protein breakdown during mitosis. He was named Associate Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in 2006, after serving as Assistant Professor of Cell Biology since 2000. Previously, he spent three years as the first Institute Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry of Cell Biology at Harvard. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Carleton College in 1988, , followed by a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UCSF in 1995 and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997.
Gergely L. Lukacs
Professor Dr. Gergely Lukacs, Canada Research Chair in Molecular Cell Biology of Cystic Fibrosis and other Conformational Diseases, from McGill University’s Department of Physiology and Biochemistry is the newest member of our Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lukacs has conducted extensive research on Cystic Fibrosis and has numerous publications regarding Cystic Fibrosis. One of the long-term goals of his research is to unravel the molecular and cellular basis of Cystic Fibrosis. His work is in molecular cell biology, protein quality control and sorting. Dr. Lukacs earned his: M.D. and PhD from Semmelweis Medical School, Budapest, Hungary and received postdoctoral training at the Dept. Pahrmacology and Physiology, Yale Medical School and University of Toronto and Hospital for Sick Children Research Institute.
Richard I. Morimoto, Ph.D.
Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology, Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, and Director of the Rice Institute for Biomedical Research, Northwestern University
Richard I. Morimoto holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago, received a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Chicago, and did postdoctoral research at Harvard University. His research on the regulation of the heat shock stress response and the function of molecular chaperones addresses questions on the integration of organismal stress in response to physiologic and environmental stress and the chronic expression of misfolded and damaged proteins.